USPS to Implement Second Postage Rate Increase in 2021

June 4th, 2021 Comments off
August 2021 USPS Price Increase

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed a second 2021 postage rate increase for mailing services (letters, postcards) to be implemented on Sunday, August 29, 2021 subject to approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission. This would be the second USPS postage rate increase of 2021, with the first rate increase going into effect on January 24, 2021.

It’s important to note the August 2021 rate increase only impacts “Market Dominant” products, which are mail services such as First Class Mail letters, postcards and mailing services. The USPS DID NOT include package services such as First Class Package Service or Priority Mail, which are known as “Competitive” products. (This could change as additional USPS announcements are expected.)

Listed below are the highlights of the proposed August 2021 USPS rate increase:

  • The rate for a First Class Mail Letter (1 oz.) for postage purchased at the Post Office will increase 3 cents to $0.58 from $0.55. Each additional ounce for First Class Mail will cost $0.20, no change from the January through July 2021 period.
  • If you print postage online (via Stamps.com), the Metered Mail rate for a First Class Mail Letter (1 oz.) will increase by 2 cents to $0.53 from $0.51.
  • With a 5 cents discount, printing postage online using the Metered Mail rate provides a 9% discount off the Post Office price.

First Class Mail Letter Rates - as of August 29, 2021

INCREASE PER LETTER - Jan 2021 Rates vs. Aug 2021 Rates
Mailpiece WeightJan 2021Aug 2021Increase
Letters - 1 oz.$0.55$0.58$0.03
Letters - Additional Ounces$0.20$0.20No Change
Metered Mail Letters (Stamps.com Rate) - 1 oz.$0.51$0.53$0.02
Metered Mail Letters (Stamps.com Rate) - Additional Ounces$0.20$0.20No Change
Flat/Large Envelope - 1 oz.$1.00$1.16$0.16
Flat/Large Envelope - Additional Ounces$0.20$0.20No Change
Postcards$0.36$0.40$0.04
International Letters - 1 oz. (County Groups 1-9)$1.20$1.30$0.10
International Postcard (County Groups 1-9)$1.20$1.30$0.10
International Flats - 1 oz. (Country Groups 1-9)$2.40$2.60$0.20

Domestic mail services are increase in August 2021. Certified Mail is increasing to $3.75 from $3.60, a $0.15 increase. And Registered Mail is increasing to $13.75 from $12.90, an $0.85 increase.

Domestic Mail Extra Services - as of August 29, 2021

INCREASE PER SERVICE - Jan 2021 Rates vs. Aug 2021 Rates
Mailpiece WeightJan-21Aug-21Increase
Certified Mail$3.60$3.75$0.15
Certified Mail Restricted Delivery$9.15$9.75$0.60
Registered Mail$12.90 and up$13.75 and up$0.85
Signature Confirmation - Mail$3.20$3.45$0.25
Signature Confirmation - Electronic$2.70$2.90$0.20
Return Receipt - Mail$2.85$3.05$0.20
Return Receipt - Electronic$1.75$1.85$0.10
Adult Signature Required$6.90$6.90No Change
Adult Signature Required, Restricted Delivery$7.15$7.15No Change
Package Intercept$15.25$15.25No Change
Pickup on Demand$25.00$25.00No Change
USPS Tracking Plus - Scan RetentionStarts at $2.10Starts at $2.10No Change
USPS Tracking Plus - Scan + Signature RetentionStarts at $4.59Starts at $4.59No Change

Media Mail rates will increase by an average of 10.865% in August 2021. A 1 lb. package traveling to Zone 8 will be $3.19 in August 2021 from $2.89 in January 2021, an increase of 30 cents.

USPS Media Mail Rates - as of August 29, 2021

INCREASE PER PACKAGE - Jan 2021 Rates vs. Aug 2021 Rates
WeightJan-21Aug-21Increase
1 lb.$2.89$3.19$0.30
2 lbs.$3.45$3.82$0.37
3 lbs.$4.01$4.45$0.44
4 lbs.$4.57$5.08$0.51
5 lbs.$5.13$5.71$0.58
6 lbs.$5.69$6.34$0.65
7 lbs.$6.25$6.97$0.72
8 lbs.$6.81$7.60$0.79
9 lbs.$7.37$8.23$0.86
10 lbs.$7.93$8.86$0.93

Stamps.com Will Automatically Update to the New USPS Rates on August 29, 2021

Once the rates are approved by the PRC, Stamps.com will automatically update all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version (Stamps.com Online) on Sunday, August 29, 2021.

If you are a Stamps.com customer, no additional actions are needed and you will AUTOMATICALLY see the 2021 USPS rates in the platform.

USPS To Change Priority Mail Express Delivery Times

April 30th, 2021 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service is proposing a delivery time change for Priority Mail Express.

Currently, Priority Mail Express has two guaranteed delivery times within the 1-2 business-day service standards:
Option #1: 12 Noon or 3 p.m. (depending on originating zip code and delivery address)
Option #2: 10:30 a.m. (in select locations, for an extra $5 fee)

The USPS is proposing to eliminate the 10:30 am delivery time and will be adjusting the regular Priority Mail Express delivery from 12 noon/3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the designated delivery day.

If the Postal Regulatory Commission approves the change, starting Sunday, May 23, 2021 all Priority Mail Express packages will be delivered by 6 p.m. regardless of the originating zip code and delivery address.

The shipping price for Priority Mail Express will not change with this delivery time adjustment.

Get more information on Priority Mail Express.

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USPS Mailing Standards For Lithium Batteries

March 12th, 2021 Comments off

This article includes updates effective March 12, 2021

Shipping Regulations
When shipping lithium batteries, businesses must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) standards for preparing shipments that contain lithium batteries.  The standards are in place to ensure the safe transportation of shipments that include these batteries and cells.  Shippers are responsible to comply with these regulations or risk fines.

Luckily the USPS shipping regulations align with DOT and PHMSA regulations—so as long as your shipment follows USPS regulations, you are in the clear.

USPS Standards for Domestic Shipments Containing Lithium Batteries

  • Each cell cannot contain more than 1 gram of lithium
  • Each battery cannot contain more than 2 grams of lithium
  • All packages must contain a complete return address
  • For non-installed batteries, your package must have a DOT-approved lithium battery mark (UN3090)

Standards for Shipping Installed Batteries

  • Installed batteries must be protected from short circuit
  • Devices with batteries must have protection to prevent accidentally being powered-on
  • Equipment must be cushioned

Shipping Lithium Batteries to International Destinations?

Lithium batteries can only be shipped internationally if they are installed in the equipment they operate.  Shipping carriers are not allowed to ship packages containing only lithium batteries or cells to international locations – they must be included inside a product.  No markings or documentation are allowed on these international mailpieces.  This rule applies to all international as well as APO/FPO/DPO destinations.

More info on the U.S. Postal Service’s Lithium Battery mailing standards is available on the USPS.com site.

USPS Priority Mail Increase 2021

February 26th, 2021 Comments off

USPS Priority Mail is a fast and economical shipping service that provides delivery to anywhere in the United States within two to three days. With Priority Mail, you can send packages up to 70 lbs. and enjoy free USPS tracking and insurance of up to $50.

Stamps.com customers enjoy discounts of up to 40 percent over the Post Office rate on all Priority Mail shipments! These discounts are automatically calculated by the Stamps.com software.

Priority Mail Rate Changes in 2021

Priority Mail rates saw an average increase of 3.6 percent from 2020 to 2021. A one-pound package traveling from Los Angeles to New York (Zone 8) currently costs $8.42, up from $8.25 in 2020.

USPS Priority Mail (Commercial Base Pricing)
INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 rates vs. 2020 rates
Mailpiece Weight20212020Change
1 lb. – Zone 8$8.80$8.42$0.38
2 lbs. – Zone 8$11.69$11.19$0.50
3 lbs. – Zone 8$16.45$15.74$0.71
4 lbs. – Zone 8$18.96$18.14$0.82
5 lbs. – Zone 8$21.96$21.01$0.95
6 lbs. – Zone 8$25.75$24.52$1.23
7 lbs. – Zone 8$28.93$27.55$1.38
8 lbs. – Zone 8$32.49$30.94$1.55
9 lbs. – Zone 8$36.12$34.40$1.72
10 lbs. – Zone 8$39.67$37.78$1.89

Rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Flat Rate Envelopes also increased in 2021.

Priority Mail Flat Rate (Commercial Base Pricing)
INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 rates vs. 2020 rates
Mailpiece20212020Increase
Flat Rate Envelopes$7.40$7.15$0.20
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$7.70$7.45$0.20
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$8.00$7.75$0.20
Small Flat Rate Box$7.90$7.65$0.15
Medium Flat Rate Boxes$13.75$13.20$0.40
Large Flat Rate Boxes$19.30$18.30$0.70
APO/FPO/DPO Large Flat Rate Box$17.80$16.80$0.70

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes provide great cost savings over regular Priority Mail when your parcel is over two pounds. For example, a Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A that weighs five pounds for delivery to Zone 8 will cost $12.64 compared to $21.96 for regular Priority Mail.

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes (Commercial Base Pricing)
INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 rates vs. 2020 rates
Box A
Zone 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
2021$7.83$8.04$8.34$9.01$10.89$11.63$12.64$23.37
2020$7.68$7.92$8.21$8.92$10.42$11.13$12.10$18.69
Change$0.15$0.12$0.13$0.09$0.47$0.50$0.54$4.68
Box B
Zone 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
2021$8.23$8.64$9.56$12.36$17.50$20.10$22.90$42.98
2020$8.07$8.51$9.42$11.53$16.72$19.21$21.89$34.38
Change$0.16$0.13$0.14$0.83$0.78$0.89$1.01$8.60
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USPS 2021 Postage FAQ

January 29th, 2021 Comments off

When did the new USPS rates start?
The 2021 USPS postage rate increase went into effect on Sunday, January 24, 2021.

Is the price of a First Class Mail letter (1 oz.) increasing in 2021?
If you purchase postage at the Post Office, the rate will remain $0.55. If you print postage online (via Stamps.com), the Metered Mail rate will increase by one cent to $0.51 in 2021, a 4 cent discount off the Post Office price. Each additional ounce will increase by 5 cents to $0.20.


When printing postage online for First Class Mail letters, do I get a discounted rate?
Yes, customers who print postage using Stamps.com save 4 cents per letter, paying only $0.51 instead of $0.55 (Post Office rate) – a 7% savings! This discount is known as the “Metered Mail” rate and is available for all postage printed using an approved PC Postage/online postage vendor such as Stamps.com or through a postage meter.


Can I buy $0.51 “Metered Mail” rate postage stamps at the Post Office?
No, the “Metered Mail” rate $0.51 postage stamps can only be printed using an approved PC Postage/online postage vendor such as Stamps.com or through a postage meter. The “Metered Mail” $0.51 stamps cannot be purchased at the Post Office.

When printing shipping labels online, do I get a
discounted rate?

Yes, customers who print postage online automatically qualify for discounted shipping rates from the USPS. Customers who print USPS shipping labels can received discounts up to 40% when purchasing Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express or First Class Package Service. These discounted rates are automatically calculated when you print a shipping label inside the Stamps.com platform.

Can I print UPS shipping labels inside Stamps.com?
Yes! Along with USPS shipping services, Stamps. com now allows you to print labels for UPS shipping to fit your needs. Learn More about UPS Shipping in Stamps.com.

Has the USPS added new fees for larger/heavier packages in 2021?
Yes, the USPS has added an overweight/oversize surcharge of $100 for packages that exceed the 70 lb. maximum weight limitation or the 130-inch length plus girth maximum dimensional size limit.

Has USPS international shipping rates changed in 2021?
Yes, as with domestic rates, international rates have also increased in 2021. Additionally, the number of country groups has increased for USP international shipping services. Country groups are used to determine shipping rates for international packages based on the distance and country the package is traveling to. Priority Mail Express International country groups are increasing from 17 to 20, Priority Mail International country groups are increasing from 17 to 20, and First Class Package International Service country groups are increasing from 9 to 20 in 2021.

I am a Stamps.com customer. Do I need to take any actions to get the new rates after January 24, 2021?
No, if you are a Stamps.com customer, you do not need to take any action. Stamps.com will automatically update all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version.

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